17 Beautiful Beach Plants for Coastal Living

17 Beautiful Beach Plants for Coastal Living

We often get asked: “What plants do well in a coastal situation?” 

Having just returned from a week on the southern Oregon coast, I had the time and opportunity to see for myself, and am happy to share some good options. 

Here in western Oregon we have what is usually referred to as a Mediterranean climate, meaning mild winters and warm, dry summers. 

As any gardener here knows, the possibilities to grow interesting, unique, and fabulous plants here are nearly endless. On the coast, there are three additional important factors to keep in mind that might make beach plants and coastal gardening challenging. 

To my mind, these factors render coastal conditions even more truly Mediterranean than our more forgiving inland version.


The three factors of the coastal challenge:


  1. High and frequent winds
  2. Often sandy, fast-draining soils
  3. Salt – both in the air and often in the groundwater


Because of the less extreme temperature fluctuations near large bodies of water, you can also often push your boundaries with beach plants a little more than you can farther inland, which is always fun! 🙂 As a result of this, you will, for example, see Phormiums at the coast of a size you hardly ever see in Portland. 

And I’ll bet coastal gardeners have never even heard of a “Phormium winter” like we experience in Portland from time to time, when all our lovingly tended New Zealand flax dies.


phormium plants blowing in the beach wind


1. Phormiums

This Phormium is in bloom, which is another feature we don’t often see in Portland. It is of an entirely different proportion than its inland brothers and sisters.


Escallonia flowers on the beach


2. Escallonia

The windy coastal conditions creates a need for screening. Here, the evergreen density of Escallonia is put to work to create shelter from the breezy barrages so often experienced on seaside properties.



Bergenia, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus beach coastal garden living


3. Climbing Roses, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus

Climbing roses, Bergenia, Agapanthus, Sedums, Zauschneria, Cistus and ornamental grasses accompany the dark foliage of the ornamental cherries anchoring this coastal cottage garden.



flowers on sidewalk beach town coastal living


4. Leucadendron

There is a decidedly Californian flair over this seaside, streetside garden – Leucadendron, Parahebe perfoliata, Phormium, ornamental grasses, Ilex, etc. The large Rhododendrons in the background give a nod to a more traditional Oregon plant palette.



Hebes beach plants coastal breeze


5. Hebes

Hebes is a great alternative – here seen with a wind-whipped Pine. The general rule of thumb when it comes to Hebe varieties is that the smaller the leaf, the hardier they are.



evergreen blossoms on the oregon coast


6. Coastal Hebes

Since you can push the envelope in milder coastal climates, you can get away with using showier, larger-leaved varieties. Hebes are evergreen and bloom for a long time, with white, pink, or purple blossoms. They are quintessential west coach beach plants.



Agapanthus flowers in bloom on the beach


7. Erigeron and Agapanthus

Erigeron is a tough, pretty, mounding plant that blooms for a long time with small, daisy-like flowers. Here placed in front of a row of Agapanthus.



succulents on the beach thrive well


8. Succulents

Succulents are a fantastic option! Agaves, Sedum, and Sempervivum all perform fantastically. Here is the hot pink Delosperma planted with pink Seathrift (Armeria) that has mostly finished blooming.



succulents on the side of a rock on the beach


9. Sedums and Sempervivums

These incredibly exposed wild succulents were growing on a vertical rock face out in the ocean. These are a mix of Sedums and Sempervivums.



eucalyptus thrives in wet beach environments


10. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a perfect evergreen tree for fast-draining soils. The leaves might turn red when heat stressed.



Agapanthus beach plants beautiful coastal living


11. Junipers

Conifers often do well on the coast. Junipers, Pines, and Cypresses are common. Here is the free-form silhouette of a conifer paired with a more formally clipped broadleaf evergreen shrub and the sky blue rounds of the Agapanthus.



pines on the beach


12. Exposed Pines

These exposed Pines put up a constant battle against the Western winds of the Pacific Ocean. As you can see, wind is a major factor in seaside gardens. Use the lee side of your house to your advantage to cultivate your less sturdy plants.



Echium is a great plant that can thrive on the beach


13. Echium

The dramatic foliage of an Echium is a great addition to any garden, but be sure to put it in a less windy spot to ensure its towering flowers do not collapse.



rosemary does remarkably well on the coast


14. Rosemary

Rosemary does phenomenally well on the coast. After all, it is a Mediterranean plant in a very Mediterranean climate.



beautiful hydrangeas do great on the coast


15. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas do great on the coast. This one is on the lee side of a building with an eastern exposure, but normally this would be a great spot for a Hydrangea, but this one is looking rather sad. Hydrangeas are thirsty plants and love ample moisture. If you plant them in fast-draining soils, you need to provide them enough water to look their best. You can see from the crispy mopheads that the above Hydrangea is not entirely happy. 🙁



Cordyline Astralis is a california beach plant that exists in southern oregon


16. Cordyline Australis

You can tell that these photos are from the southern Oregon coast, as some of the plants are decidedly Californian in stature. Here are a couple of mature Cordyline Australis – the likes of which you may not readily see on the northern coast. Yuccas might be a good alternative in those colder areas.

california poppies look beautiful on this waterfront property


17. California Poppies

A little past their prime, but still lovely, tough-as-nails California poppies adorn the seaside landscape. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Roses, Crocosmias, Agastache, Ceanothus, Achillea, Salal, Lavender, Santolina, Cannas, Poppies, … the list of tough, excellent, salt-tolerant plants is a long one. You can find an excellent list here. Hopefully, this post will give you some ideas of what might work where you are. We are always available to answer more questions. Just stop by our Portland garden center in the Raleigh Hills neighborhood.

Growing Flowers in Your Backyard

Growing Flowers in Your Backyard

Growing a Backyard Bouquet

Flowers add color, cheer, and a sweet aroma to your garden. Being able to have fresh-cut flowers straight from your own garden throughout the season takes planning, but it is worth the investment. Flower bouquets are the perfect gift for special occasions, to lift the spirits of someone who needs some cheer, or to provide natural color in your own home. 

Every Portland landscape has the potential to be a breathtaking scene of color and texture. Our climate allows for lush greens and bright colors to fill the yard all year long. We live in the GREAT Northwest! However for some, choosing which flowers to grow can be intimidating. We have so many great plants to choose from!

Below is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs, and perennials that produce excellent flowers. It is possible to have fresh flowers in a Portland landscape all summer long when you incorporate some of the plants listed below.

If you have questions about where to get these flowers, call or visit us at our Portland garden center.


Cercis Redbud

Cercis Redbud trees yield absolutely beautiful flowers



  • Cercis – Redbud
  • Cornus – Dogwood
  • Crataegus – Hawthorn
  • Forsythia – Forsythia
  • Prunus – Flowering Cherry
  • Salix – Willow
  • Syringa – Lilac



Berberis Barberry

The Berberis Barberry produces this vibrant red color. Isn’t it beautiful? Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia



  • Berberis – Barberry
  • Buddleia – Butterfly Bush
  • Callicarpa – Beautyberry
  • Caryopteris – Bluebeard
  • Cornus sericea – Red osier Dogwood
  • Corylus – Walking Stick
  • Cotinus – Smokebush
  • Exochorda – Pearlbush
  • Hamamelis – Witch Hazel
  • Hydrangea – Hydrangea
  • Ilex – Winterberry
  • Salix – Willow
  • Sympor. – Snowberry
  • Syringa – Lilac
  • Rosa – Rose


Achillea Yarrow

Achillea Yarrow




  • Achillea – Yarrow
  • Aconitum – Monks Hood
  • Agapanthus – Lily of the Valley
  • Agastache – Hyssop
  • Alcea – Hollyhock
  • Alchemilla – Lady’s Mantle
  • Alstromeria – Mugwort
  • Anemone – Anemone
  • Aquilegia – Columbine
  • Artemiesia – Mugwort
  • Aster – Aster
  • Astilbe – Astilbe
  • Astrantia – Masterwort
  • Baptisia – False Indigo
  • Boltonia – False Starwort
  • Catanache – Cupids Dart
  • Centaurea – Bachelors Button
  • Centranthus – Red Valerian
  • Chrysanthemums – Mums
  • Campanula – Cup and Saucer
  • Coreopsis – Tickseed
  • Crocosmia – Crocosmia
  • Delphinium – Larkspur
  • Dianthus – Pinks
  • Dicentra – Bleeding Heart
  • Digitalis – Foxglove
  • Doronicum – Leopards Bane
  • Echinacea – Cone Flower
  • Echinops – Globe Thistle
  • Engeron – Flea Bane
  • Eryngium – Sea Holly
  • Eupatoium – Mist Flower
  • Euphorbia – Spurge
  • Gaillardia – Blanket Flower
  • Gaura – Windflower
  • Geum – Lady Stratheden
  • Gypsophilia – Baby’s Breath
  • Helenium – Helen’s Flower
  • Helianthus – Sun Flower
  • Heliopsis – Ox-eyed Daisy
  • Helleborus – Lenten Rose

These beauties flower early in the Spring, and their nodding blooms are sublimely beautiful. A few of our favorite varieties for Portland landscaping are Ivory Prince, Pink Frost, Double Queen & Royal Heritage.

  • Heuchera – Coral Bells
  • Hosta – Hosta
  • Iris – Iris
  • Jean May Camellia
Jean May Camellia

This Camellia has soft pink flowers and deep green glossy leaves. It is a brilliant flowering shrub that can be used as a backdrop in landscaping or as a hedge/screen


  • Knautia – Knautia
  • Lavendula – Lavender
  • Leucanthemum – Shasta Daisy



This is a classic shasta daisy that doesn’t need staking and is generally trouble free. It offers a lovely pop of white and is such a happy flower!

  • Liatris – Gayfeather
  • Lilium – Lily
  • Limonium – Statice
  • Lupinus – Lupine
  • Malva – Mallow
  • Monarda – Bee Balm
  • Kalmia latifolia – Mountain Laurel



With its glossy leaves and cheery flower clusters, Little Linda is a great addition to any landscape! It is a dwarf plant reaching its maximum size at just 3’ x 3’ making it easy to use in smaller residential lots.


  • Nepeta – Catmint
  • Papaver – Poppy
  • Penstemon – Beards Tongue
  • Peony – Peony
  • Perovskia – Russian Sage
  • Platycodon – Balloon Flower
  • Phlox – Phlox
  • Physostegia – Dragons Head
  • Rudbeckia – Black Eyed Susan
  • Ruta – Rue
  • Salvia – Flowering Sage
  • Scabiosa – Pincushion Flower
  • Solidago – Golden Rod
  • Stokesia – Stokes Aster
  • Thalictrum – Meadow Rue
  • Trollius – Globe Flower
  • Veronica – Veronica
  • Zanteaeschia – Calla Lily
Ideal Plants for Your Climate

Ideal Plants for Your Climate

A successful garden starts out with a good garden plan. Haphazardly throwing plants, trees, and shrubs together without a well-informed plan can be a recipe for disaster.

Understanding your local climate is essential to solid garden planning. In the beautiful Pacific Northwest that we call home, we frequently receive questions about plants that do well in the moist environment of the Portland area. But the Northwest presents a wide range of climates from the high deserts of Bend to the mild coastal regions of Seaside. Following are some ideas to help your garden planning process, no matter what type of conditions you might live in. We carry many of these in our Portland garden center.


Plants for Wet Areas 


Garden Planning with Wet Soil Plants


The following is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and all-around wet soil plants. Most every Portland landscape has a need for a few plants that thrive in moist soil. Here are several to choose from!


Trees for Wet Areas



Acer Rubrum Red Maple


  • Acer rubrum – Red Maple

  • Acer saccharinum – Silver Maple

  • Alnus – Alder

  • Betula nigra – River Birch

  • Fraxinus latifolia – Oregon Ash

  • Larix – Larch

  • Liquidamber stryaciflua – Sweetgum

  • Lirodendron – Tulip Tree

  • Malus – Crabapple

  • Magnolia virginiana – Sweet Bay

  • Metasequoia glyptostoboides – Dawn Redwood

  • Nyssa slyvantica – Sourgum

  • Picea sitchensis – Sitka Spruce

  • Platanus – Poplar

  • Quercus bicolor – Swamp White Oak

  • Quercus palustris – Pin Oak

  • Salix – Willow

  • Taxodium distichum – Bald Cypress

  • Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar


Shrubs For Wet Areas


Andromeda Polifolia - Bog Rosemary

Andromeda Polifolia – Bog Rosemary


  • Andromeda polifolia – Bog Rosemary

  • Ardisia japonica – Japanese Ardisia

  • Aronia arbutifolia – Chokeberry

  • Calycanthus – Spice Bush

  • Chaenomeles – Flowering Quince

  • Cornus stolonifera – Red-Osier Dogwood

  • Ilex glabra – Inkberry

  • Ilex virginica – Sweetspire

  • Leucothoe fontanesiana – Drooping Leucothoe

  • Lindera benzoin – Spice Bush

  • Lonicera involucrate – Twinberry

  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry

  • Rosa palustris – Swamp Rose

  • Salix – Shrub Willow

  • Sambucus Canadensis – Red Elderberry

  • Spirea douglasii – Douglas Spirea

  • Syphoricarpus orbiculatas – Coral Berry

  • Viburnum opulus – Snowball Bush

  • Viburnum trilobum – Cranberry Bush


Perennials For Wet Areas


Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard

Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard


  • Aruncus dioicus – Goatsbeard

  • Aster novae-angliae – New England Aster

  • Astilbe – Astilbe

  • Bellis pernnis – English Daisy

  • Caltha palustris – Marsh Marigold

  • Camassia – Camas Lily

  • Canna – Canna Lily

  • Chelone – Turtlehead

  • Cimicifuga – Bugbane

  • Dicentra Formosa – Bleeding Heart

  • Eupatorium maculatum – Joe-Pye Weed

  • Filapendula – Meadow sweet

  • Gunnera – Dinosaur Food

  • Iris – Iris

  • Lilium canadense – Canada Lily

  • Lysimachia – Loosestrife

  • Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Lobelia

  • Mentha – Mint

  • Mimulus – Monkey Flower

  • Monarda – Bee Balm

  • Mysosotis – Forget-me-not

  • Polygonatum – Solomans Seal

  • Primula japonica – Japanese Primrose

  • Rodgersia – Rodgersia

  • Schizostylis – Kafir Lily

  • Sisyrichium – Blue-eyed Grass

  • Tolmiea menziesii – Piggyback Plant

  • Trollius – Globeflower

  • Viola – Violet

  • Zantedeschia – Calla Lily


Grasses For Wet Areas


Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag

Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag
Image courtesy of Monrovia


  • Acorus gramineus – Japanese Sweet Flag

  • Calamagrostis – Feather Reed Grass

  • Carex – Sedges

  • Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern Sea Oats

  • Deschampsia – Tufted Hair Grass

  • Juncus – Rushes

  • Miscanthus sinensis – Maiden hair Grass

  • Molinia – Moor Grass

  • Panicum virgatum – Switch Grass


Beach Flowers: Garden Planning with Plants that Thrive in a Coastal Environment


Acer ginnala Amur Maple

Acer ginnala Amur Maple


Coastal Trees

  • Acer ginnala – Amur Maple

  • Arbutus menziesii – Pacific Madrone

  • Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – Port Orford Cedar

  • Chamaecyparis obtuse – Hinkoki Cypress

  • Crataegus – Hawthorn

  • Cupressocypraris leylandii – Leyland Cypress

  • Ilex apuifolium – English Holly

  • Laurus nobilis – Bay Laurel

  • Picea sitchensis – Sitka Spruce

  • Pinus contorta – Shore Pine

  • Pinus mugho – Mugo Pine

  • Pinus nigra – Austrian Black Pine

  • Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa Pine

  • Pinus sylvestris – Scotch Pine

  • Pinus thunbergiana – Japanese Black Pine

  • Prunus – Flowering Cherry

  • Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas Fir

  • Robinia – Black Locust

  • Salix discolor/ caprea – Pussy Willow

  • Sequoia sempervirens – Coast Redwood

  • Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar


Shrubs That Thrive on the Coast


Abelia grandiflora Abelia

Abelia grandiflora Abelia


  • Abelia grandiflora – Abelia

  • Arbutus unedo – Strawberry Bush

  • Aucuba japonica – Aucuba

  • Berberis – Barberry

  • Buxus sempervirens – Boxwood

  • Ceanothus – California Lilac

  • Choisya – Mexican Orange

  • Cistus – Rockrose

  • Cotoneaster – Cotoneaster

  • Cytisus – Broom

  • Eleagnus – Silverberry

  • Erica – Heath

  • Escallonia – Escallonia

  • Euonymus – Euonymus

  • Garrya eliptica – Silktassel

  • Hebe – Hebe

  • Hydrangea – Hydrangea

  • Ilex aquifolium – English Holly

  • Ilex glabra – Inkberry

  • Lonicera pileata – Box Honeysuckle

  • Myrica californica – Pacific Wax Myrtle

  • Potentilla – Potentilla

  • Prunus laurocerasus – English Laurel

  • Prunus lusitanica – Portugal Laurel

  • Punica granatum – Pomegranate

  • Pyracantha – Pyrancantha

  • Rhamnus – Rhamnus

  • Ribes – Flowering Currant

  • Rosa rugosa – Rugosa Rose

  • Rosmarinus officinalis – Rosemary

  • Syringa vulgaris – Lilac

  • Taxus – Yew

  • Vaccinium ovatum – Evergreen Huckleberry

  • Viburnum tinus – Laurestinus Viburnum

  • Yucca – Yucca


Perennials For A Coastal Environment


Achillea Yarrow

Achillea Yarrow


  • Achillea – Yarrow

  • Antennaria – Pussy Toes

  • Arabis – Rockcress

  • Armeria maritima – Sea Thrift

  • Artemisia – Mugwort

  • Bergenia – Bergenia

  • Carex – Sedge

  • Cerastium – Snow in Summer

  • Coreopsis – Tickseed

  • Dianthus – Pinks

  • Echinops – Globe Thistle

  • Festuca – Fescue

  • Gaillardia – Blanket Flower

  • Gypsophilia – Baby’s Breath

  • Fuchsia – Hardy Fuchsia

  • Helianthemum – Rockrose

  • Kniphofia – Red Hot Poker

  • Lavandula – Lavender

  • Limonium – Sea Lavender

  • Santolina – Lavender Cotton

  • Sedum – Sedum

  • Sempervivum – Hens and Chicks

  • Stachys – Lambs Ear

  • Thymus – Thyme


Ground Covers For a Coastal Environment

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick


  • Arctostaphylos – Kinnikinnick

  • Ceanothus Pt. Reyes – Pt. Reyes CA Lilac

  • Euonymus fortuneii – Euonymus

  • Fragaria chiloensis – Ornam. Strawberry

  • Gautheria shallon – Salal

  • Juniperus – Junipers

  • Lithospernum – Lithodora


Drought Resistant Plants

Following is a collection of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and vines that are drought resistant.


Abies Concolor

Abies Concolor

Drought Resistant Trees

  • Abies concolor

  • Acer campestre

  • Acer ginnala

  • Aesculus

  • Ailanthus altissima

  • Arbutus unedo

  • Calocedrus decurrens

  • Catalpa

  • Cedrus deodara

  • Cedrus atlantica

  • Cercis occidentalis

  • Cornus nuttali*

  • Corylus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Crataegus

  • Cupressocyparis leylandii*

  • Eleagnus angustifolia

  • Ficus carica**

  • Fraxinus

  • Ginkgo biloba

  • Gleditsia triancanthos

  • Gymnocladus dioica

  • Juglans

  • Koelreuteria paniculata

  • Lithocarpus densiflorus

  • Maclura pomifera

  • Morus

  • Phellodendron amurense

  • Picea

  • Pinus

  • Platanus acerifolia

  • Pseduotsuga menziesii

  • Quercus

  • Robinia

  • Sequoiandendron gigantica

  • Sophora japonica

  • Sorbus

  • Tilia tomentosum

  • Thuja plicata

  • Umbellularia californica

  • Zelkova serrata


Drought Resistant Shrubs


Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis


  • Acanthus mollis

  • Amelanchier alnifolia

  • Aronia

  • Aucuba japonica

  • Berberis

  • Buxus micro jap.

  • Calycanthus occidentalis

  • Camellia japonica

  • Caryopteris clandonensis

  • Ceanothus* **

  • Cerocarpus montanus

  • Chaenomeles

  • Cistus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Cotoneaster

  • Cytisus

  • Deutzia

  • Eleagnus

  • Escallonia **

  • Euonymus

  • Forsythia

  • Garrya fremontii

  • Genista

  • Hamamelis

  • Hibiscus syriacus

  • Helianthemum

  • Holidiscus discolor

  • Ilex

  • Kerria japonica

  • Lagerstroemia indica**

  • Ligustrum

  • Mahonia

  • Myrica

  • Nandina

  • Osmanthus**

  • Osmarea burkwoodii

  • Philadelphus

  • Photinia

  • Prunus laurocerasus

  • Punica granatum

  • Pyracantha

  • Rhus

  • Rhamnus

  • Rosa rugosa

  • Skimmia japonica

  • Spirea

  • Symporicarpos

  • Syringa

  • Tamarix pariflora*

  • Taxus*

  • Viburnum lantana


Drought Resistant Perennials





  • Achillea

  • Agapanthus**

  • Allium

  • Antennaria rosea* **

  • Anthemis tinctoria

  • Arenaria montana

  • Artemisia*

  • Asclepias*

  • Baptisia*

  • Bergenia cordifolia

  • Centaurea gymnocarpa**

  • Centranthus rubber

  • Ceratistigma pumbaginoides

  • Convolvulus

  • Coreopsis*

  • Echinacea purpurea*

  • Echinops exaltus*

  • Erysium*

  • Gaillardia grandiflora*

  • Geranium sangiuineum

  • Gypsophilia paniculata*

  • Helenium autumnalis

  • Helleborus

  • Hemerocallis

  • Iris

  • Kniphoia uvaria*

  • Lavandula*

  • Liatris*

  • Limonium*

  • Linum

  • Lychnis*

  • Nepeta

  • Oenothera*

  • Papavera*

  • Penstemon*

  • Perovskia*

  • Phlomis*

  • Polystichmum munitum

  • Romneya*

  • Ruta*

  • Salvia officinalis*

  • Santolina*

  • Saponaria*

  • Sedum*

  • Sisyrinchium

  • Solidago

  • Thymus*

  • Tradescantia

  • Verbascum


Drought Resistant Grasses


Cortaderia selloana

Cortaderia selloana


  • Cortaderia selloana

  • Festuca ovina glauca

  • Calamagrostis

  • Miscanthus

  • Pennisetum*

  • Stipa


Drought Resistant Vines


Clematis Armandi

Clematis Armandi


  • Clematis armandi**

  • Lonicera japonica “Halliana’

  • Wisteria

*These plants will not tolerate heavy clay soils which are water-saturated in the winter.

** These plants are marginally hardy for the Northwest. They will freeze out some years.


How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Garden

Attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden is the dream of many, and for good reason. They add a sense of calm and serenity to a world that certainly could use more of it. 

And the great news is that, if you understand what you’re doing, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies can easily be done. 


Hummingbird Gardens

Hummingbird gardens must offer not only nectar-filled flowers but also provide a habitat that supports their lifestyle. 

These little birds need

  • Sun and shade
  • Shrubs and tree branches for perching
  • Fresh water for drinking and bathing
  • Materials for nest-making such as spider webs, dryer lint, or bits of leaves



These delicate birds spend lots of energy flying, so it comes as no surprise that they must feed many times each hour (3-5 times). While our flowers are blooming there is nectar for them to sip, but once you have offered them a flower food source, you can also place hummingbird feeders in prominent locations to feed them. 


hummingbird feeder

Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird feeders supplement the flower nectar, especially when flowers are few. Hang them from tree branches or a shepherd hook high enough to keep the hummingbird safe from the neighborhood cats.


Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds love tubular shaped flowers (although that shape is not absolutely required). Fragrance is not important to them, but vivid colors of red, purple, pink, orange, and yellow will attract them to your garden. At our Portland garden center, we have a large selection of flowering annuals, perennials & woody plants that will attract hummingbirds into your garden. 


Just a few to check out:


Angel Trumpet


Cape Fuschia 








Trumpet Vines




Image courtesy of birdwatchinghq.com



Butterfly Plants: Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden


Below you will find a thorough list of butterfly-attracting trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals.  All will grow well in the Pacific Northwest, and if you’re looking for any help with the following foliage, be sure to visit us at our Portland garden center 



Trees that Attract Butterflies



Aesculus Hippocastanum

If you are interested in bringing butterflies to your garden, here are a few trees that will do the trick:

  • Aescules

  • Prunus

  • Salix



Shrubs that Attract Butterflies



Abelia Grandiflora

When planting shrubs in your garden, consider the following if you want to invite butterflies for a visit:

  • Abelia

  • Buddleia

  • Calycanthus occidentalis

  • Caryopteris

  • Clethera

  • Ceanothus

  • Ligustrum

  • Lonicera

  • Rhododendron

  • Salix

  • Syringa


Perennials for Attracting Butterflies


Achillea Millefolium

Achillea Millefolium

Going shopping for perennials anytime soon? Keep the following list handy:

  • Achillea

  • Allium

  • Arabis

  • Asclepias

  • Aster

  • Aubretia

  • Centhranthus

  • Chives

  • Chrysanthemum

  • Coreopsis

  • Helenium

  • Helianthus

  • Hemerocallis

  • Echinacea

  • Echinops

  • Erigeron

  • Eupatorium

  • Gaillardia

  • Lavender

  • Liatris

  • Lilium

  • Lythrum

  • Mentha

  • Monarda

  • Myosotis

  • Nepeta

  • Phlox

  • Physostegia

  • Salvia

  • Scabiosa

  • Sedum

  • Solidago

  • Rosemarinus

  • Rudbeckia

  • Verbena

  • Veronica


Annuals for Attracting Butterflies


Ageratum Corymbosum

Ageratum Corymbosum


  • Ageratum

  • Cosmos

  • Heliotrope

  • Lantana

  • Linonium

  • Lunaria

  • Marigold

  • Nicotiana

  • Petunia

  • Tithonia

  • Verbena

  • Zinnia

Planting and Growing the Heather Plant

Planting and Growing the Heather Plant

Planting Heather

Prepare a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball. Partially fill the hole with acidic planting mix or compost. The hole should be the same depth as the planter or root ball. Heathers have very shallow root systems, so be sure not to plant too deep. Score or scratch the root ball to loosen up the roots so the plant will establish more easily. On average, heather plants should be spaced 2-3 ft. apart.


Heather Plant Care

Never let your heather plants dry out. This is a recipe for disaster, especially for newer plantings. Water deeply at least once a week. Remove any weeds carefully. Be careful with herbicides as they easily damage your plants as well. Mulching is beneficial in the winter months, but be sure to keep mulch away from the stems and crowns.

Pruning Heather Plants

Pruning should be done after each flowering period or very early in the spring. Be careful not to prune too far down. There must be green leaves under your pruning cut or that section will not grow back. Pruning in the fall or winter will cause the plants to split and create holes.


Fertilization is almost always helpful. A light application of acid-loving, slow release fertilizer in the early spring is ideal. Fertilizers should be granular and not applied to the foliage. It is best to sprinkle fertilizer around the base of the plants about 2 inches from the stems.

Where to Find Heather Plants for Sale

If you’re lucky enough to call the Pacific Northwest your home, we can help you find heather plants for sale at our Portland garden center . We look forward to working with you on your home garden project!

Planting Fruit Trees

Planting Fruit Trees

Planting fruit trees can be one of the most rewarding plants to have as part of your garden. The following is a brief overview of what you’ll need to know when planting and growing fruit trees for yourself.

Choosing a Site for Your Fruit Tree

 Avoid planting trees in the shade or around older trees as fruit trees need to be planted in full sun to thrive. Fruit trees require well-drained soils and it is best to amend the site with compost before planting.

When to Plant Fruit Trees

Plant fruit trees as soon as possible in the late winter/early spring.

Bare Root Trees

When working with bare root trees, soak the roots in a bucket or wheelbarrow of water mixed with root stimulator for about a ½ hour. Dig the hole just large enough to accommodate roots. Fill the hole with water twice to check for drainage. If the hole has not drained within 12-24 hours find a spot with better drainage. If the native soil is heavy clay, blend one-third organic soil amendment with the backfill soil. If the soil is reasonable, just use the native soil for backfill. Form a small mound in the bottom of the hole to spread the roots over top; making sure the graft line is a couple of inches above the soil line. Fill the hole with soil. Do not put fertilizer in the hole or it may burn tender young roots. Alternatively, use a mild transplant fertilizer. Check to be sure the tree is no deeper than its original soil level as this can cause the tree to rot. Make a watering basin with extra soil. Fill the basin with water combined with root stimulator, making sure the tree is well-watered and no large air pockets are left around the roots. Paint the trunks with white latex paint to prevent sunscald.

Planting Potted Trees

Dig the hole twice as wide as the pot but no deeper. If the soil is heavy clay, amend with one-third organic soil amendment. Place the tree in the hole so it rests slightly above the surrounding soil level. Fill in the hole with backfill, building a water basin slightly wider than the root ball around the tree. Water the tree thoroughly. Paint the trunk with white latex paint to avoid sunscald.

Fertilizing and Pest Control for Planting Fruit Trees

Best growth will be accomplished with the help of fertilizers. There are many organic as well as conventional options. All fertilizers should be applied after leaf fall in autumn and again before bloom in the spring. Trees that are planted in the lawn may need more nitrogen than those planted in a garden bed. Generous amounts of lawn clippings or compost make a great substitute for a nitrogen fertilizer. Don’t let fertilizer touch the trunk of the tree.

There are many pests that target fruit trees. These include insects, bacterial infections, and fungi. All of these are treatable and can be treated throughout the year.

Harvesting Fruit Trees

Apples and sour cherries are ready for harvesting when they are easily picked from the tree. Sweet cherries, plums, prunes, and peaches will all continue to ripen after harvest. European pears should be picked while they are still green and should come off the tree easily when ready. Persimmons ripen late in the fall when they become soft. Nuts fall to the ground when mature. For best quality, gather walnuts from the ground and dry.

If you’re interested in growing fruit trees and happen to live near us in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to visit us at our Portland garden center.

A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.

Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.

Born and raised in the Portland Metro Area… Tim has had an appreciation for the outdoors from a young age.  Inspired by our local beauty ranging: the Mt Hood National Forest to salty, sea spray of Cannon Beach, the arid high-desert of Central Oregon to the rugged terrain of Steens Mountain – Tim sought higher education at the University of Idaho in their Landscape Architecture department.  Graduating with honors in 2004, he returned home to establish his professional career.

Now making his home in Sandy, Oregon – Tim and his wife [Nicole] are raising two happy and healthy kiddos and 4 fur-babies.  Between soccer, football, cheerleading, girl scouts and other extra-curricular activities… the Sellin family are heavily involved in their community and church family.  Since college, Tim has spent 13 of his 17 years with Drake’s 7 Dees and has ‘set roots’ in anticipation of long-term growth at the family-focused company.  Having spent his time away from Drake’s in a ‘boots on the ground’ capacity, Tim has fostered a love for the operational/production side of landscape business, as well as the design/sales.

His goal in life as well as business is to put others first.

Bachelor of Science Landscape Architecture, BSLA… 2009
California Polytechnic University, Pomona… Cum Laude
American Society of Landscape Architects – Honor Award

Steven has 15 years of experience in the residential landscape design/build and garden center industry, including 9 years with Drake’s 7 Dees. Steven also has experience working with the National Park Service in Yosemite on sub-alpine restoration projects, as well as volunteer experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer serving the community of Zaouiat d’Ifrane in Morocco.

Together, Steven and his wife Anna have four lovely children, all 5 years old and under! In his (very limited) spare time, Steven enjoys camping, hiking, archery hunting, and cooking. Steven’s passion for his work lies in helping others, through design to envision a more beautiful space that, once built, becomes a reality that improves their quality of life.